What Is A Superyacht?

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Many people may wonder what it is that defines a superyacht. Since the 1990’s more and more of these beasts have been built, including the Lionheart owned by British businessman Sir Philip Green which is based in Monaco and cost over £100 million. Sir Philip also owns three other yachts – Lioness, Lionchase, and Lion Cub. (Quite why anyone needs four yachts is a matter of mystery to some). However, even Lionheart is overshadowed by some of the yachts owned by Russian oligarchs, and the world’s most expensive yacht is the History Supreme which was commissioned by an anonymous Malaysian businessman, is covered in gold and platinum, and cost $4.5 billion!

A superyacht is defined as any yacht that is 24 metres or more in length, is commercially operated, and has a professional crew. It can be sail or motor powered, but most are motor powered. The number of larger yachts has grown considerably over the last 25 years and there are now so many that only the bigger ones above 65 metres tend to stand out. This has got to the point where the term “gigayacht” is being used for those over 100 metres in length.

Many of these yachts, such as Lionheart, are used entirely by their owners, but others are available part time for charter, and still others are chartered all year round.

At Frers, we have not yet been called upon to design any gigayachts, but we have been involved in the design and build of very many large yachts over the years including racing yachts, cruising yachts, and motor yachts, as well as superyachts. The yacht design business began in 1926 with Mani Frers grandfather, German Frers Snr, while his son – also German – entered the business in 1970.

Over the years, yachts designed by the Frers family have won every major trophy around the world including the Admiral´s Cup, Bermuda Race, Transpac, Whitbread Round The World Race, SORC, Kenwood Cup, San Francisco Big Boat Series, The Two Ton Cup, Maxi World Championships, ILC Championships, and The Louis Vuitton Cup twice.

Currently, the Frers Design Studio in Milan has been commissioned to design a number of yachts including a 56 metre superyacht for a company in China. This design by Mani Frers incorporates advanced composite engineering which considerably reduces the weight and makes the yacht as easy to handle as a 40 metre boat. It gives increased speed and range, yet requires less crew and maintenance. The yacht can achieve speeds under power of 15 knots, and as much as 20 knots under sail, and has a cruising range of 4,000 miles.

There are the owner’s staterooms in the bow and four generous guest cabins, with room for an 8.5 metre tender in the stern garage